My Difficulties With the Loyola Maroon Student Newspaper

My Difficulties With the Loyola University Maroon Student Newspaper: Controversy Over Affirmative Action and Abortion

Previously, I sent this article to be published by the Maroon. It was rejected on the ground it was “offensive.”

Block, Walter E. 2018. “Teachers Who Look Like Me?” March 6; See here also.

So, instead, I published this on LewRockwell.com. Do you think it offensive?

More recently, I asked the editors of the Maroon to publish the essay below. It was rejected on the basis of its lack of clarity. Here is their letter of rejection:

“Thank you for submitting your letter to the editor. However, we feel as though the point of the piece is unclear.

“If you would like to rewrite and then resubmit the piece, we may be able to reconsider publishing it, but due to the fact that the point of your opinion is unclear, the piece seems to be promotional for your past work and the relevancy of the argument is quickly dwindling, we will not be publishing the letter as it stands.

“Thank you for your understanding.”

Here is the article that was rejected; do you think it lacks clarity?

In the recent controversy over abortion, the two sides were widely divergent on the substance of that debate. However, they were strongly united on one issue: that there are only two sides to the dispute. They are both in error on this one area of agreement between themselves. As a matter of fact there is also a third side, the libertarian viewpoint. It constitutes a principled compromise between the two different views on this matter.

The pro-life advocates claim that the pregnant woman may not evict her fetus at any time. Nor may she kill this unborn child. They regard the latter as murder.

For their part those who advocate the pro-choice position maintain that the pregnant woman may do both: evict her fetus whenever she desires to do so, and also, destroy it. They do not regard this latter act as murder, since they do not see the fetus as a human being.

There seems to be no compromise position between these two widely divergent perspectives. Each regards the other as either evil or misinformed, or both. Happily, there is indeed a third viewpoint.

What is the libertarian compromise position? It is that the fetus is a human being alright (as soon as the egg is fertilized by the sperm), but that when unwanted, this very young person is in effect a trespasser, who may be removed from the premises in question (the woman is the proper owner of her own body, which the fetus now occupies). However, since the unborn child is a human being, he may not be destroyed, since that would indeed be murder. This is easy to see in the case of rape: if that baby is not a trespasser on the woman’s property, her body, there is no such thing as trespassing. But for reasons space does not allow me to explain (see below), this is true in all cases of pregnancy.

True, if the baby is evicted in the first two trimesters, he will perish. But the mother is not then a murderer, since she is acting defensively, against a violator of her private property rights in herself. On the other hand, if evictionism is adopted, one third of all pre-born babies will be saved, at one fell-swoop, from the horrors of partial birth abortion. They are all now viable outside the womb. And, as medical technology improves, this turning point will come earlier and earlier in the gestation process.

For more elaboration on these points, the interested reader is referred to these publications:

Block, Walter E. 2014. “Evictionism and Libertarianism.” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 290-294;

Block, Walter E. 2014. “Toward a libertarian theory of evictionism,” Journal of Family and Economic Issues. June; Volume 35, Issue 2, pp. 290-294; http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10834-013-9361-4; http://www.springerlink.com/openurl.asp?genre=article&id=doi:10.1007/s10834-013-9361-4; http://download.springer.com/static/pdf/463/art%253A10.1007%252Fs10834-013-9361-4.pdf?auth66=1385583057_5dd1e3442d2db3f98c91dcf5a5d5fa43&ext=.pdf; http://www.springer.com/home?SGWID=0-0-1003-0-0&aqId=2507833&download=1&checkval=feff928fe5dfc72bc210032f220ca40a

Best regards,

Walter

Walter E. Block, Ph.D.

Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics

Loyola University New Orleans

6363 St. Charles Avenue, Box 15, Miller Hall 318

New Orleans, LA 70118

wblock@loyno.edu

I sent out the above material to my list of about 1500 people, mainly former and ex Loyola students of mine, plus local people interested in Austrian economics and libertarian political theory. It also was picked up by a web that was potentially read by the entire Loyola community.

As a result, I received this first letter from the President of my university, Fr. Kevin Wildes, Ph.D., S.J.:

From: Kevin Wildes [mailto:wildesk@loyno.edu]
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2018 9:55 PM
To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Subject: Suggestion

Walter,

I have often taught, and used, Ockham’s Razor in my writing, doing analysis and teaching logic.  It is an excellent principle of logic and science.

So in the spirit of the Razor,  I suggest you find a therapist.  Your need for attention is wearisome and boring.  As part of your therapy you might try doing serious academic publishing rather than using  the campus announcements for publishing

kw, sj

Here was my response to him

Dear Kevin:

I appreciate your concern for me. Can you please recommend an appropriate therapist? I’ve struggled with my need for attention for lo these many years, and I really do need help combatting it. I need all the help I can get to rid myself of this malady of mine. Thanks for pointing this out to me.

I again thank you for several times being a guest lecturer of mine in my classes on economics and religion. I am honored that we have overlapped for so many years at Loyola.

As for “serious academic publishing” you are quite right. I do far too little of that; far too little. I have only averaged about one book per year since I’ve arrived at Loyola in 2001, and about 20-25 refereed journal articles annually. I’m particularly proud of the fact that I’ve got almost 100 articles in refereed journals that started out as term papers written by my Loyola students, see attached. Thanks to your advice, I’ll now try to step up my rate of serious academic publishing.  So far, I’ve published only about two dozen books and somewhat less than 600 refereed journal articles.

What’s your record on this sort of thing?

Best regards,

Walter

Here are two more letters in this vein with Fr. Wildes, SK:

From: Kevin Wildes [mailto:wildesk@loyno.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2018 10:07 AM
To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Subject: Re: Suggestion

Let’s have lunch

kw, sj

Sent from my iPhone which often edits and changes my words!

Dear Kevin:

I’m honored to be asked, and I’d be delighted to have lunch with you. When’s good for you? I’m free on Monday, 5/7, on Tuesday, 5/8, on Wednesday, 5/9 and on Thursday, 5/10. Whch of these dates works best for you?

Best regards,

Walter

As a second result, I received this letter from a faculty colleague of mine:

From: K

Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2018 1:25 PM
To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Cc:
Subject: Article post — help me understand

Walter,

The article below was sent to me by a frustrated and disgruntled student.  While I appreciate your perspective and intellectual argument, the delivery of singling out a young black male alienates the very population that we want to be more effective critical thinking in the COB.  Young people that have a vision for inclusion may actually need to see diversity among leaders to believe it; not everyone is convinced by historical data trends and intellectual theory.   Moreover, neither you nor I have any idea what it feels like and what the life experience is for a single student in our classes.

Telling this young evolving black male student that he is wrong to feel this way seems to create more narrow minds than open minds among our students.

Can you help me understand the impact you would like to make on the students so that I can be better at helping students be critical thinker instead of silenced, diminished,  and invalidated… and narrow minded.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/03/walter-e-block/teachers-who-look-like-me/

Here was my response:

Dear K:

Thanks for your note. My interests are mainly to get at the truth, or, at least to one millionth of an inch closer to the Truth with a capital T. If that offends people, while I regret it, that won’t stop me from this goal of mine. This young black male student of ours has been taught, probably for years, about the virtues and benefits of affirmative action. I was merely trying to set him straight, by introducing to him, perhaps for the first time, some of drawbacks of this system, both morally and pragmatically. I never, ever, said that he was “wrong to feel this way.” Rather, my claim is that he was wrong to THINK this way. If professors cannot correct the thinking of student at an institution of higher learning such as ours, we might as well close up shop, don’t you agree. I think what I wrote was a good example of promoting “effective critical thinking in the COB.”

You ask me to “help you understand.” I can best do so by referring you to a bibliography critical of affirmative action, choosing professors of a certain race or skin color or “who look like me.” Rather, I think our educational mission would far better be served if we looked for competence, no matter how a professor “looked.” I don’t expect you’ll read all of these. If you read only a few, my favorites are those by two heroes of mine Sowell and Williams.

Block, 1982, 1992, 1998; Block, Snow and Stringham, 2008; Block and Williams, 1981; Derbyshire, 2012; Gordon, 1998; Herrnstein and Murray, 1994; Levin, 1987, 1997; Lynch, 1998, Malek, 2002; Mercer, 2003; Mulcahy and Block, 1997; Rockwell, 1995; Sander and Taylor, 2012; Sowell, 1975, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 2000, 2016; Taylor, 2013, 2015; Taylor and Sander, 2012; Whitehead, Block and Hardin, 1999; Whitehead and Block 2004; Williams, 1982, 1985, 2003, 2005, 2011; Woods, 2004.

Block, Walter E. 1982. “Economic Intervention, Discrimination and Unforeseen Consequences,” Discrimination, Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, Walter E. Block and Michael A. Walker, eds., Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, pp. 101-125.

Block, Walter E. 1992. “Discrimination: An Interdisciplinary Analysis,” The Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 11, pp. 241-254; http://tinyurl.com/24yojf; http://tinyurl.com/2fwlfc; http://tinyurl.com/2gejlp

Block, Walter E. 1998. “Compromising the Uncompromisable: Discrimination,” American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 57, No. 2, April, 1998, pp. 223-237

Block, Walter E., Nicholas Snow and Edward Stringham. 2008. “Banks, Insurance Companies and Discrimination.” Business and Society Review, Vol. 113, No. 3, September, pp. 403-419;

Block, Walter and Williams, Walter, E. 1981. “Male-Female Earnings Differentials: A Critical Reappraisal,” The Journal of Labor Research, Vol. II, No. 2, Fall, pp. 385-388;

http://www.walterblock.com/publications/mfearningdifferentials.pdf

Derbyshire, John. 2012. “The Talk: Nonblack Version.” April 5; http://takimag.com/article/the_talk_nonblack_version_john_derbyshire/print#axzz4yy9fOGX1

Gordon, David. 1998. “More Equal than Others.” Review of Dworkin, Ronald, “Is Affirmative Action Doomed? The New York Review of Books, Vol. XLV, No. 17, November 5, 1998, pp. 56-61; in Mises Review, Vol. 4, No. 4, http://mises.org/misesreview_detail.aspx?control=118

Herrnstein, Richard J., and Murray, Charles. 1994. The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, New York: The Free Press

Levin, Michael. 1987.  Feminism and Freedom. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction

Levin, Michael. 1997. Why Race Matters: Race Differences and What They Mean, New York: Praeger.

Lynch, Michael W. 1998.  “Preferences Are Dead: Interview with Ward Connerly.” February; http://www.reason.com/news/show/30527.html

Malek, Ninos P. 2002. “Associate in Peace.” April 1;

http://mises.org/article.aspx?Id=924&FS=Associate+in+Peace

Mercer, Ilana. 2003. “Bush’s Call for Quotas.” January 24;

Mulcahy, Tim and Walter E. Block. 1997. “Affirmative Action: Institutionalized Inequality,” Freeman, October, Vol.47, No. 10, pp. 613-614, http://www.fee.org/vnews.php?nid=3871.

Rockwell Jr. Llewellyn H.  1995. “Repeal 1964.” The Free Market. Vol. 13, No. 5, May;

Sander, Richard Henry, and Stuart Taylor, Jr. 2012. Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It. Basic Books;

Sowell, Thomas. 1975. Race and Economics. New York: Longman

Sowell, Thomas. 1981. Markets and Minorities,  New York, N.Y.: Basic Books

Sowell, Thomas. 1982. “Weber and Bakke and the presuppositions of ‘Affirmative Action,'” Discrimination, Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, Walter E. Block and Michael Walker, eds., Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, pp. 37-63

Sowell, Thomas. 1983. The Economics and Politics of Race: An International Perspective. New York, Morrow.

Sowell, Thomas. 1984. “Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality,” New York: William Morrow.

Sowell, Thomas. 2000. Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy. New York, N.Y.: Basic Books

Sowell, Thomas. 2016. “Affirmative Action: Incentives for Ethnic Division on Campus.”

Taylor, Stuart. 2013. “Race-Based Affirmative Action Makes Things Worse, Not Better.” April 18;

Taylor, Stuart. 2015. “A Little-Understood Engine of Campus Unrest: Racial Admissions Preferences: An underlying reason for today’s ‘hostile learning environment’ on campus.” November 23;

Taylor, Stuart and Richard Sander. 2012. “Why affirmative action has failed: Racial preferences hurt minorities.” October 30. http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/affirmative-action-failed-article-1.1193380

Whitehead, Roy, Walter E. Block and Lu Hardin. 1999. “Gender Equity in Athletics: Should We Adopt a Non-Discriminatory Model?The University of Toledo Law Review, Vol. 30, No. 2, Winter, pp. 223-249;

Whitehead, Roy and Walter E. Block. 2004. “The Boy Scouts, Freedom of Association and the Right to Discriminate: A Legal, Philosophical and Economic Analysis,” Oklahoma City Law Review, Vol. 29, No. 3, Fall, pp. 851-882;

Williams, Walter, E. 1982. The State Against Blacks, New York, McGraw-Hill.

Williams, Walter E. 1985. “Good Intentions — Bad Results: The Economic Pastoral and America’s Disadvantaged,” Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy, Volume 2, Issue No. 1.

Williams, Walter E. 2003. “Discrimination: The Law vs. Morality,” Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy Fall pp. 111-136;

Williams, Walter, E. 2005. “Victimhood: Rhetoric or Reality.” June 9;

Williams, Walter, E. 2011. Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination? Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press.

Woods, Thomas. 2004. “Discrimination Myths that Everyone Believes.” December 6;

Here is another letter from a second faculty colleague of mine at Loyola University New Orleans:

From: M
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2018 9:51 PM
To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Cc: Kendra Reed <klreed@loyno.edu>; cob-all@loyno.edu; Sybol Anderson <scanders@loyno.edu>; Maria Calzada <calzada@loyno.edu>; Kevin Wildes <wildesk@loyno.edu>
Subject: Re: Article post — help me understand

Dr. Block,

The spirit you wish to have at Loyola had the following: “[W]hen speakers who question the intellect and full humanity of people of color are invited to campus to ‘debate’ their worthiness as citizens and people, ”

As an immigrant, I sometimes can’t see the difference between freedom of speech and racism. Perhaps, I am not “citizen and people” enough to understand the difference between the two. Perhaps, my “intellect and full humanity” are not enough.

I do feel however though, instead of trying to “debate” my worthiness, I would rather call it quits and head back “home”. Unfortunately for “people of color”, this is home.

At one time, pro-segregation was considered freedom of speech. Is it still so? Is questioning the “intellect and full humanity” of a race considered freedom of speech?

Every country and society seem to have their own racists. As long as their majority calls it “freedom of speech” it is so. The same majority may have carried U of Chicago from its ninth place to the third place in the country. However, just because majority says so, it does not make it right. Or does it?

I’d like to believe that I am still working for an institution, unlike U of Chicago, that values persons worthy of dignity and respect. I’d like to believe that I am still working for an institution where I do not have to defend my intellect, full humanity and my worthiness.

I’d like to believe that I am still working for an institution where people believe “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Thankfully, our president (Loyno) said it best:

“As a Jesuit, Catholic university, we condemn all forms of hate speech, racism, intolerance, and social injustice, for they fly in the face of our deepest values and our mission’s fundamental belief that all people are children of God, worthy of dignity and respect.” Fr. Wildes, 8/15/2017

Here is my response to this second faculty colleague of mine:

Dear M:

Charles Murray never question(ed) the intellect and full humanity of people of color.

However, in this book he did indeed study IQ differences between different groups of people:

Herrnstein, Richard J., and Murray, Charles. 1994. The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, New York: The Free Press

Are you saying Charles Murray should not be invited to campus to give a speech or engage in a debate with a Loyola professor? If he did come to Loyola to give a speech, would you protest his presence? Do you subscribe to the leftish notion that his analysis constitutes violence, and that therefore you would be justified in employing violence to prevent him from speaking? If so, you would be acting incompatibly with the U of Chicago principles.

You say this: “The spirit you wish to have at Loyola had the following: “[W]hen speakers who question the intellect and full humanity of people of color are invited to campus to ‘debate’ their worthiness as citizens and people,’”

Mehmet, you really should read things more carefully. This is NOT part of the U of Chicago statement. This is a CRITICISM, and unwarranted and unjustified CRITICISM of it in my opinion. Of course it “had the following” in it. But, as I say, this was part of a CRITICISM of it. Do read this again, more carefully this time. In order to help you do so, I quote the entire paragraph in which this statement appears, so that you can get an accurate context:

Zingales and university administrators have, predictably, spent the past several weeks dealing with a backlash of their own. Over 1,000 alumni, more than 100 faculty members, the executives of student government and nearly a dozen student groups have voiced their opposition to the event in various mediums. “[W]hen speakers who question the intellect and full humanity of people of color are invited to campus to ‘debate’ their worthiness as citizens and people, ” a faculty open letter read, “the message is clear that the University’s commitment to freedom of expression will come at the expense of those most vulnerable in our community.” Off-campus, many have scorned those protesting the invitation. “The school has a long tradition of valuing free speech and thought, recognizing that a university is — wait for it — a place of ideas and learning,” the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board wrote after the announcement. “The ‘cure’ for repellent ideas, school President Robert Maynard Hutchins said generations ago, ‘lies through open discussion rather than through inhibition.’ ”

I have no doubt you are far more careful in your professional capacity as an expert in finance. You really ought to apply some of that in this situation.

I have another suggestion for something you really ought to read:

Mill, John Stuart. 1947 [1859]. On Liberty, Northbrook, IL: Ahm Publishing,

This is one of the most magnificent defenses of full free speech ever written, even though it is based on utilitarianism, not deontology.

Best regards,

Walter

I spoke to this second correspondent of mine. I asked him if he intended to respond to my letter. He said he would not. I asked him if he would object if I invited Charles Murray to speak at Loyola. He said he would. I asked him if he would protest against such an event, he said he would. I asked him if he would use violence to prevent such an occurrence. He said he would not. I guess either he had not yet had a chance to read Mill’s “On Liberty” or, worse, did so but disagreed with this magnificent paean to free speech, especially on a college campus.